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Old 03-29-2019, 10:54 PM
Viper225
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Range Work for Steel Challenge



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I will try this again using Word so as not to get Timed Out while typing this up.

At our January 2019 Big Piney Sportsman’s Club Board Meeting we decided to switch from shooting Combat Handgun Match’s to Steel Challenge. The Club joined USPSA, we ordered a complete set of new Steel Targets, and Tablets to score on. We were aware that we would need to do some work on the handgun bays. When the targets came in we quickly realized that our B Bay was not as deep as it really needed to be. C Bay could stand to be a little wider, and we needed a Fourth Bay so that we could set up all Eight Stages. The other two Steel Challenge Ranges in our area, Billings and COPS both have all Eight Stages. We decided to build the Fourth Bay, but this took a while to happen due to rain and muddy conditions.
It finally dried out enough to work, and we completed D Bay a couple days ago. We generated a huge amount of fill dirt. After building berms around the new bay, we still had loads of fill dirt to haul away. This is not a problem on a Gun Range. We added a few dump truck loads to the 100 and 300 yard impact berms on the Hi Power Range. We made B Bay much deeper, and tuned up the Divider berms between A Bay and B Bay and Between B Bay and C Bay. We made the 700 yard Firing Point Berm used in the Missouri Steel Tactical Match deeper to help staging shooters and gear. We added fill on the Multi Purpose Range working towards having 50 yards flat for the 4-H Rimfire Program. We are at about 40 yards now.
Bay C is long and narrow in a valley. We had a large Oak tree dead and in the road. We pushed it out, and then widened the bay a few feet.

The above work let us set up Accelerator and Show Down in the B Bay straight and not angled. We now have plenty of room to stage shooters behind the line on this Bay.

In C Bay we have Outer Limit on the Left and Five to Go on the right. Widening the Bay let us swing Five to Go right so that we have no issues with targets lining up on the two stages.

I went to my first Steel Challenge Match in February. I made a few observations. One was that using a barrel to stage your rimfire gear on was not the best plan. We addressed this by building 2’ X 4’ tables to position beside the appropriate Start Boxes. Big Improvement.

Loading magazines between Stages was observed. Again we added 2’ X 4’ tables to load on in the staging areas.

New shooters are scrambling to figure out what to do on a stage. We built 24” X 24” Bulleting Boards for every Stage. We utilized 24” wide target bases to build the Bulletin Boards. They have the Stage Diagram, and a Detailed Description of what you are to do on the Stage.

We are making a modification to our target bases. We are adding a 3” X 3” Angle iron shield to the front to armor the base so it is not dented into the 2” x 4” post by a stray shot. This will allow us to stake down the bases and leave them on the stages. Much less work setting targets up.

As you can see a lot goes into making a match happen. Most shooters think it all happens by magic.

My Personal Gear:
I am an ICORE Revolver shooter. I am running my S&W 617 in Rimfire Irons and my GP100 in Revolver Irons. I have several HKS Speed Loaders to keep the 617 running through a stage. I have discovered that you are at a slight disadvantage shooting a Six Shooter against Ten Shot semi auto’s. I am considering a switch to a GP100-22 fed with a Speed Beez Speed Loader and a 100 round Loading Block.
I have came up with what I call the Steel Challenge Revolver Bucket. Picture two 5 gallon plastic buckets one stacked one on the other. The lower bucket has three U Bolts on the inside just under the lip to support the upper bucket when positioned on top. I eject my ammunition and empty cases into the empty top bucket. When done with the Stage I sort out the empty’s and loaded ammunition, and then nest the now empty bucket back under the one with the U Bolts. I put my gear back in the top bucket and move to the next stage.

We have moved our shoot date to the second Saturday. Billings shoots on the first weekend and COPS on the third. If you are within driving distance of Houston Missouri make plans to come out and shoot with us. We are a friendly bunch, you will have a good time.

Bob Roach
Club President
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:40 PM
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AzShooter
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Sounds like a wonderful setup. Good luck with the club and your personal shooting. I shot revolver for Steel Challenge for years but now I only shoot my Ruger Mark IVs. I'm still having fun and I'm sure you will too.
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Old 03-30-2019, 05:49 AM
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range work

Looks like you guys have been busy. Everywhere you go to shoot steel you see different set ups. When we shoot our steel match here in Florida we have only 4 suitable bays. We set up four stages - divide into 4 squads - shoot. When a squad shoots their 4th stage they immediately change it over to another stage. We often have 50 to 60 shooters at a match. Start at 9 and are finished usually well before 2. We have the stages marked out on the bays with small metal markers nailed into the ground. Each bay has a red stage and a green stage. Would I like to have 8 bays and be able to have smaller squads - absolutely. But this seems to work for us
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:32 PM
Viper225
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We have Two Stages set up in each bay.
We have Four Tablets, so we are limited to Four Squads at this time, unless we have a second Relay in the afternoon.
I am considering the second relay for my ICORE Revolver shooters and a couple of the 600 Yard F Class shooters who fire in the morning on the same day as out Steel Challenge Match. With an afternoon relay the rifle shooters can also shoot steel challenge.

I also have a MK III Hunter that I may shoot along with my revolvers. Who knows I might shoot my Glock 35 or 37, or even my 1911 in Single Stack at some point.
I do not mind shooting my Glock 37 on our Range, as I will end up getting most of my shell cases back.

Bob R
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:15 AM
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Sounds like a great facility and a great club..
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:35 PM
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Try airsoft for home practice, set the par on your timer. Scale the tgts to 1/3 or 1/4 and yds to feet. Makes for interesting family get togethers too.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:34 PM
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Airsoft is how I taught my wife the correct procedures, rules, etc... before her first Steel Challenge match. We treated each practice session just like a match, bagging/unbagging, range commands, load & make ready, unload & show clear, etc...

Set the distance to the targets to scale, but the distance between targets will not be to scale to get the correct swings between targets.

If you do use Airsoft, be prepared for your neighbors to pop up above your fences like prairie dogs to see what's going on, then spending 20-30 mins letting them play before they get bored.

Nolan
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:56 PM
Viper225
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We have been tweaking the stages all week for the match tomorrow. We set the targets out this afternoon. We had a single spike in the bases in A, B, and D Bays. We decided that we had better add the second spike to prevent the targets from pivoting with only a single spike. We got that done today. BAY C is the Three Gun Bay, so the target stands are not staked down in it. We inlayed 1/2 concrete blocks in the ground flush for Target Location, Start Box's and Cones in it. This really makes set up quicker, and we can mow over the blocks.
We have all the new signs put up. We have STAGE DESCRIPTION on each of the Eight Bulletin Boards. We also put Two Sand Bags on each base to keep them from blowing over. We added a sign to the SAFE AREA Sign post infront of the Staging Area Pavilion that says: REMOVE FROM CASE and HOLSTER HERE. We have the BAY D sign installed. After we made BAY B deeper we moved the BAY B sign to the Right end of the bay. I still need to get a second sign made for this bay for the Left end where you will see it coming out of Bay A. We put SAFE AREA signs on all the Safe Area tables. The signs make every thing look professional. We also painted all the signs, and tables. The Safe Area tables are painted Yellow, and every thing else is Forrest Green.

We made more 2' x 4' tables this week. We now have Three Loading Tables in Bay's A, C, and D. We have Four in Bay B. We were talking today. We may build a few more to have Two Loading Tables per Stage. OR Four Per Bay.

We put another load and a half of limestone in BAY D. It was a little thin from round one. We saved back a half load for spot repairs. We also added Three loads to the expanded parking area for Sporting Clays. The shotgun guys will like that.

I now have my MK III back. I added Majestic Arms Base Pads to all 7 of my magazines, and cleaned all of them while I was at it.
I have a Tandemkross Halo Charging Ring, Lightning Strikes Firing Pin, and Eagle Claw Extractor on order from Midway. Every thing else has been worked on previously. Majestic Arms Take Down Kit, Trigger Work, Magazine Disconnect removed, Magazine Ejector.

The MK III is not firing 100%. I have had this happen with three brands of ammo. That is why the Firing Pin is on order. I cleaned the bolt and dry lubed the firing pin last night. With luck it will run 100% tomorrow. The note from the gunsmith said to use plated bullets, and keep lead out of it. The lead bullets were the ones leaving cases in the chamber apparently. I sent several different types of ammo with it this last time to get this sorted out.

I wish you were all able to attend the match. It will be a Great Time.

Bob R

Last edited by Viper225; 04-13-2019 at 12:16 AM.
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